39 APA: In-text Citations

APA style asks that you include the following elements for all in-text citations:

  • the author’s last name(s)
  • the year
  • and if you are quoting word for word, also the page number or other locator

This applies to all types of sources you use in APA citation, whether it is a book, an article, a website or any other item.

 

How would this look?

You can either start your sentence by mentioning the author, followed by the year in parentheses or put the elements in parentheses after the information you borrowed.

Example:

Smail (2008) suggested that the speed of human cultural evolution is linked to the turnover rate of cultural entities.

The speed of human cultural evolution is linked to the turnover rate of cultural entities (Smail, 2008).

 

For quotes, you must also include a page number or other locator, and it would look like this:

According to Smail (2008), Darwinian evolution “follows a rhythm dictated by the rapidity of generational turnover” (p. 99). 

One opinion is that Darwinian evolution “follows a rhythm dictated by the rapidity of generational turnover” (Smail, 2008, p. 99).

 

What is meant by “other locator”?

Some sources don’t have page numbers, in which case you should try to include some other pinpoint, so your reader can find the quote more easily. This could be a section heading, a chapter number, paragraph, and so on. 

 

What if there is no author? What if there are multiple authors? What if there is no date? 

Whatever the situation, you still need to cite your source. Ask the Writing Center for help with citations!

 

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